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Russell Westbrook rips through Knicks defense, dunks on three defenders

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (L) is averaging 27.5 points per game this season. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE
Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (L) is averaging 27.5 points per game this season. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE

March 3 (UPI) -- Russell Westbrook sprinted through the New York Knicks defense and threw down a vicious dunk over three defenders during a Houston Rockets loss at Madison Square Garden.

Westbrook's throw-down came with 1:27 remaining in the 125-123 setback Monday in New York City. The Rockets trailed 121-117 when he took flight.

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The Rockets guard dribbled past half court and down the left flank during the electrifying sequence. He did a head fake on Knicks forward/guard Maurice Harkless at the top of the 3-point arc before bolting to his right and into the paint. Westbrook's speed caught the Knicks off-guard, as several players raced back toward the rim to defend the Rockets star.

Westbrook used the defensive lapse to his advantage, using the created space to soar above the paint before throwing down a powerful one-handed finish. The dunk cut the Knicks lead to two points. Westbrook cut the Knicks lead to one point with 1:02 remaining before Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett answered with a layup.

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Westbrook again cut the lead to one point with two made free throws, but missed on a game-tying attempt with less than a second remaining.



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Westbrook had 24 points, nine rebounds and three assists in the loss. James Harden scored a game-high 35 points and had eight assists for the Rockets. Barrett led the Knicks with 27 points. Julius Randle had 16 points and 16 rebounds in the win.

"We just weren't ready to play. It's that simple," Westbrook told reporters. "We can't take games like this lightly. Everybody goes out to compete and we have to be ready to play."

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The Rockets (39-21) host the Los Angeles Clippers at 8 p.m. EST Thursday at Toyota Center in Houston. The Knicks (19-42) host the Utah Jazz at 7:30 p.m. EST Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

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